Colombia 2019
Colombia 2019

Venezuela and neighbouring countries

Regional programme

What we do

Caritas Switzerland initiated a regional Venezuela Crisis Response (VCR) Programme in 2019, reorienting existing programmes in Brazil and Colombia towards the needs of millions of Venezuelans who fled to neighbouring countries without prospects for a return any time soon. Caritas Switzerland’s VCR Programme 2021-2025 focuses on supporting governments, national civil societies and the international community to provide humanitarian aid and socio-economic integration to Venezuelan refugees and migrants as well as vulnerable segments of the host communities. Therefore, the focus of the VCR Programme lies in the thematic fields of migration and income, while applying a nexus approach, integrating humanitarian assistance as well development programs according to needs.

The programme strives to expand operations in Venezuela with a focus on covering basic needs as long as they are aimed at migrants on the move, especially in border areas. The focus of operations within Venezuela is mainly humanitarian. Further expansion into other countries affected by the Venezuela Crisis will be investigated during the coming programme period. The programme continues its collaboration with the Caritas Network and with relevant international stakeholders, investing in relationship-building and strengthening of partners’ capacities.

Synergies between the VCR Programme countries within Caritas Switzerland are explored, aiming at strengthening the position of Caritas Switzerland in the region as well as allowing effective and innovative projects. In line with Caritas Switzerland’s strategy 2025, the VCR Programme explores possibilities for the implementation of the Graduation Approach as well as furthering cash-based interventions.

The financial goal for Caritas Switzerland’s VCR Strategy foresees continuous growth from 3 million CHF (2021) to 4,5 million CHF in 2025. In order to achieve this, a comprehensive overview of financing opportunities in the region is elaborated and a regionalised fundraising structure explored. Funding from large international donors should be upheld while broadening the donor-base. The continuation of working in consortia allows Caritas Switzerland to be eligible for and to implement large grants by international donors. Due to the volatile context and the novel character of the programme, the VCR Strategy is annually reviewed which offers opportunities to adapt the strategy to new developments. 



By covering basic needs and access to education and job opportunities refugees and migrants are better protected and contribute increasingly to their self-sufficiency and development in the countries of origin, transit and destination.

  • Migrants and refugees having access to social and economic services to enhance inclusion.
  • Protection of migrants and refugees is enhanced and their basic needs are covered through access to cash, goods and services.


Caritas enables youth, minorities, smallholders and other vulnerable people to increase their income thanks to improved skills and a more inclusive agricultural market system

  • Smallholders, and other value chain actors, have gained access to information, tools and services needed to improve the production and processing of sustainable products and nutritious food as well as marketrelated services and business contacts to enter higher added-value markets.
  • Youth, minorities, and other vulnerable people, have gained access to high quality non-formal and formal vocational skills development.


  • Engagement since: 2019, based on previous programmes in Colombia and Brazil
  • Our main partners: German Caritas Association, Caritas Luxembourg, Scalabrini International Migration Network, Secretariado Nacional de Pastoral Social - Caritas Colombia, Fundación de Atención al Migrante (FAMIG), Secretariado de Pastoral Social (SEPAS) - Diocese Riohacha, Combos, Caritas Venezuela, Caritas Maracaibo, Caritas Brazil, Serviço Pastoral dos Migrantes (SPM), Serviço Pastoral dos Migrantes do Nordeste, Associação Beneficiente São Martinho, Caritas Cochabamba, Fundación Munasim Kullakita, Fundación Scalabrini Bolivia, Prelatura de Juli, Centro de Desarrollo Humano (CEDEH)
  • Our main donors: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), European Union-ECHO*, UNHCR, Medicor Foundation, Leopold Bachmann Foundation, Misereor, Die Sternsinger, Swiss Solidarity

*This is funded/co-funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Caritas Switzerland and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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Rafael Filliger

Programme Director

Head OfficeLucerne, Switzerland

+41 41 419 23

Matthias Knoch

Director Venezuela Crisis Response

Regional OfficeBogota, Colombia

+57 601 245 92

Header image: Colombia 2019 © Alexandra Wey